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Anonyfinn "flyingfinn1"

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Asus DSL-N55U - 300Mbps Dual Band Wireless N Router ADSL 2/2+ Modem Router, 802.11n, Gigabit Lan, Gigabit LAN, 2x USB, Print FTP UPnP Server, HD Streaming, 3 Year Warranty
Asus DSL-N55U - 300Mbps Dual Band Wireless N Router ADSL 2/2+ Modem Router, 802.11n, Gigabit Lan, Gigabit LAN, 2x USB, Print FTP UPnP Server, HD Streaming, 3 Year Warranty
Price: £78.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy set up and GUI, good signal and traffic handling, handy parental controls, 21 Sep 2014
I've paired this with the Asus PCE-A68 network card on my PC, which is the only machine I have using the 5 GHz band in the house at present. 300 + 300 Mbps is quite enough, because it's more than comes into the house -- consider that before making a more expensive dual band purchase.

On the 5 GHz band I get 450 Mbps to my PC when alone -- this seems to be 300 on 5 GHz plus a share of the 2.4 GHz band. When others are in the house on laptops, other PCs, phones etc., it's rare I get less than 360 Mbps, again bearing in mind that this is the speed between the router and PC, which is not what is actually possible online for me, because it's way faster than the broadband service I currently have.

Installation was easy enough, the usual really -- connect by cable and the right settings are retrieved automatically. With 30 ft and two insulated partition walls between the PC and router, I get a signal strength of 4/5 on 5 GHz and 5/5 on 2.4 GHz, which goes to show that the reputed comparative loss of range on 5 GHz is partially true, though both signal strengths are very good in my case.

I like the online control panel, GUI or however you prefer to call it. Updating the firmware was easy -- you can do it the long way and download a file to your PC and upload it, or if you look in the online GUI there's actually a button, and it does it all for you. Very easy! All settings kept as well, automatically.

PARENTAL CONTROLS! I like this, hence the block capitals. In the online GUI, there's a list of all devices that have connected to this modem router, and you can actually set times when they can or cannot have internet access. Accordingly, the kids' phones and laptops etc. are now blocked from 10 pm to 7 am, so no more what's app messages or dodgy web surfing going on in the middle of the night! Times can be set in hourly blocks too, so if it's lunch or homework, there's always the option... One small thing for this on-off service to work, is that the system time may need adjusting to the time in your country in the GUI, and daylight savings time doesn't seem to be automatically adjusted (i.e. you need to set the correct time zone and/or set GMT +1, or not as the case may be.). I haven't done it, but it seems you can also block certain websites.

So, I've had no trouble setting up and connecting, the speed is as promised, the signal strength with the Asus PCE-68 card is good on both bands, and the online user interface is pretty good. If you hunt around in the GUI and online, there's support with manuals and videos. Other functions I haven't yet tried are media server by USB, 3/4g dongle and FTP server, so still some unexplored potential for me. I did actually achieve a fractional increase of around 5% and 10% download and upload respectively over my last basic router on my PC, and it seems good at distributing the internet connection to devices as required -- the default setting is that it prioritizes traffic like media streaming and online gaming.

So, all good from me. As the most lay of lay person's, while the online GUI is fairly easy to use, I do feel that all of these systems could be a tad more self-explanatory, or assume less knowledge on behalf of the average consumer. I guess that's why I can't quite go to the full five stars -- different people have different criteria, and this would be mine. I've seen others fault a lack of features, but in my case I obviously don't know what I'm missing, or what else I could possibly want and especially at this price. The N55U offers way better value than you used to get!

S3+ Foot Pod Unisex black Size:one size
S3+ Foot Pod Unisex black Size:one size
Price: £69.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Multifunctional -- for many, distance plus cadence together do more than gps alone, 12 Sep 2014
This review is from: S3+ Foot Pod Unisex (Sports)
I bought this as part of a running kit with the RCX3 watch. It's easy to fit, I don't find it too large or heavy, and the battery really lasts (months!). I calibrated it on three laps of a 400 metre track -- the best way to ensure accuracy because you know the exact distance run when calibrating. Running with Runtastic on my phone, I find that the distance run as estimated by the foot pod is very close to what my phone gps gives me. I don't need to know where I've been on a map, as speed, distance and changes in finishing time on the same terrain/route are all I need to know -- so the footpod does pretty much what I'd want from a more expensive gps unit (and more reliably, with longer lasting batteries by all accounts!). On top of that, it also tells your stride cadence and length as well as your pace (you see these on graphs or as data after uploading online, e.g. pace you see on a chart across the whole run, stride length as a single figure). Cheaper bought as part of a running set with the RCX3, but even as an upgrade, for runners it may well offer much better value than the gps unit and be rather less bother.

Asus PCE-AC68 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Network Interface Card
Asus PCE-AC68 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Network Interface Card
Offered by Ballicom International
Price: £70.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very robust and no trouble at all, 9 Sep 2014
This seems faultless to me. Driver and software installation was very fast (WIn 7 -- I finally uninstalled the 8 'upgrade'!), and the software is pretty easy to use when it comes to joining your wireless network; it also worked with settings to find and use my Nokia phone as a hub. It was easy to install physically and only takes up one PCI slot despite the large-looking heat sink. The antennas are pretty meaty, and I get good and reliable signal strength on 2.4 ghz. Very robust all round. I can't vouch for the speed, as this is a bit of overkill for my current wifi, soon to be upgraded -- so in part this was a future-proofing exercise prior to getting a dual band router; I get a strong solution that I don't need to buy and install twice.


Now using with a dual band Asus N55U modem router -- 300 + 300 Mbps is plenty enough, as it's way more than comes into the house. The software than comes with the network card shows channels 10 and 36 as 2.4 and 5 GHz bands respectively (may vary for you). There are several wifi users in the house -- this PC with the AC68 network card and meaty antennas, another PC streaming TV, a laptop or two plus phones. The software indicates a speed between the router and this PC as the only 5 GHz band user of between 360 and 450 Mbps (not that this much comes into the house, so it's only indicative of possibilities). Since this is a 300 + 300 router, I'm guessing that I get 300 on 5 GHz to myself, plus a share of the 2.4 GHz used by everyone else (and it is a guess, as the instructions don't tell much, nor the software itself). On the 2.4GHz band only, I get 144 Mbps amid other wifi users, and 300 when alone.

I'm about 30 ft and two plaster board walls filled with glass wool insulation away from the modem router: I get a signal strength of 5/5 on the 2.4 GHz band and 4/5 on 5 GHz, so there is some truth in the reputation that signal strength is lower with 5 GHz, though with this set up the signal strength for both bands is evidently very good.

As I said, the speeds quoted are just the speeds between the modem-router and this network card, which are way faster than the broadband coming into the house. However, using online speed tests, I have seen a fractional increase, perhaps 5% download and 10% upload, in the speeds I'm reaching, but do bear in mind that this is at least as much down to a more sophisticated router than I had before, though it takes two to tango and couldn't be done without this network card.

As usual, the software/GUI could be more self explanatory, or indeed come with a better guide (or indeed a guide!). But it's rather good once you figure it out.

Samsung SAM 850 Pro 256GB 2.5 inch SATA III Solid State Drive
Samsung SAM 850 Pro 256GB 2.5 inch SATA III Solid State Drive
Offered by Ebuyer UK Limited
Price: £150.00

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meets speed promise and good disk management software - but don't count on cloning, 6 Sep 2014
What can I say? I have to review the whole package and the promise it makes.

Two pieces of software come with it, one good the other not so good - or the support that comes with it. The Samsung Magician disk management software is good, offers a few settings you can change, and a benchmarking tool to let you know how fast the SSD performs; that way you can see how well your adjustments are working out. Also, this software performs optimization (trim) with a button click -- handy if your OS doesn't support trim or for some reason defragmentation is the only option offered, in which case check for and turn off any such scheduling.

The cloning software is easy enough to use, and indeed I got a copy of the existing 64 GB SSD off in 35 minutes. I could read the files from the new drive when plugged into USB. Trouble is I never got it to start into windows no matter how much I fiddled in the bios. The boot sector wasn't even marked as active, which is something I could fix using disk management from a PC with the cloned drive in USB. But then when it finally recognized and booted to the cloned drive, the drive signature was off (naturally, it seems) and it wouldn't start further than winload.exe. There are various fixes you'll find surfing the web, but it was all a bit much for me after trying a few solutions an without any Windows installation disks (system repair disk offered nothing helpful). Many people reading this could have fixed it quickly and I'm sure they find my fumbling a bit of a giggle. And many wouldn't get as far as I did.

The good news is that I'd upgraded Windows 7 to 8 (8.1) a long while back and always regretted it. So I managed to restore my PC to factory settings and get a brand new Windows 7 PC again. Even after this clean install, when I changed from IDE to ACHD in the bios (recommended for speed if your motherboard supports it), for some reason the new drive wasn't listed as an option to boot into, but this was fixed by selecting `optimized defaults', after which it appeared. I felt I could have managed if Samsung had bothered with documentation that guides you through possible problems - a trouble-shooting flow chart and a list of things to do would be easy to provide since these problems are so typical - search the web and you'll see!

Performance? Well I'm sure you are here because you know this is one of the best, if not the best. My first test using the Magician software was 420/408 MB/s sequential read and write respectively. After switching to ACHD in the bios and clicking a couple of performance-related tabs, it came in at 562/532, which certainly matches the product promise. I now have `rapid mode' enabled and I'm getting strange figures in the 4500 MB/s region (experts -- what's going on there?): I think I read that you could theoretically lose data in a power cut in rapid mode, but I have an APC battery back-up anyway. The PC has a 3.4 GHz 3rd gen i7, and 16 GB of 1600 MHz ram etc. so while not brand new has pretty good spec for an untweaked machine.

In summary, The Magician software is good. The drive meets and even exceeds its promise in terms of speed and we'll have to take Samsung's word for the longevity. A clean install makes this SSD a no-brainer. But if you don't have a certain level of expertise, it's possible that you should not rely on the promise that a cloning solution is provided, and there is no support for potential/probable difficulties.

Last night I would have given this 2 stars. 4 does not seem ungenerous.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 26, 2014 10:37 AM BST

Metaltex Ravioli Press Cutters Pasty Turnover Makers, Sizes 9 cm/12 cm/15.5 cm, Set of 3
Metaltex Ravioli Press Cutters Pasty Turnover Makers, Sizes 9 cm/12 cm/15.5 cm, Set of 3
Price: £5.19

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fit for purpose!, 15 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've made pasties in all three sizes supplied, using a shortcrust pastry rolled out to about 4 mm. If the plate or saucer you use (or whatever) isn't quite the right diameter when cutting pastry circles, it doesn't matter if the circles are too large or the circle is somewhat irregular due to guessing, because when you clamp these shut, they all but cut through the pastry and it's easy to run the back of a knife round them to trim off the excess. Throw that in the oven for the kids...

Being greedy, I stuffed my pasties very full, and then noticed that with the clamps shut, there was a huge bulge out the back, and if I were to open the clamps I'd more or less cut through it (look at the pictures, when open the two halves are tight together, but if you imagine folding them closed, there's a pasty sized gap between them, which disappears when opened again). Anyway, the simple solution is that the hinges unclip, and it was enough to undo one side and twist a little to get my pasties out whole.

The results are a very good shape, and actually quite photogenic! Some recipies call for strong flour to get the pliability, but I used ordinary as many people do, and the pasties didn't fall apart during or after baking, or while eating. A good pastry recipe you can find by searching for the Hairy Bikers Cornish Pasty recipe online -- as far as pastries go, I felt it was one of the lower fat versions, it functioned well and tasted good. What you stuff them with is up to you, but I like to use left over lamb stew with swede, potato, carrot and onion.

Anyway, good results and certainly good for the price.

Polar RCX3M Run Heart Rate Monitor and Sports Watch
Polar RCX3M Run Heart Rate Monitor and Sports Watch
Price: £159.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Good for all levels, foot pod more useful than you might know, 15 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've found this model very reliable and easy to use, including downloading training programs and uploading data. I calibrated the foot pod on three laps of a 400 m track, as it's important to know the exact distance when calibrating. I'm surprised at the distance accuracy -- on a 13 kilometre moderately hilly circuit, there was only a 50 metre discrepancy between the distance on the watch and the gps sports app on my phone. You don't need gps! -- You know where you've been, it's how far and how you did it that's important! (you can write a note into your online training data as to where if you wish)

The foot pod also enables you to gauge your performance in terms of stride length, etc., so you can see in this way too how you are improving.

The training programs downloaded from the web are very good. In my case it's handy to stop myself from over-training or pushing too hard too often -- all heart ranges are important. Just because I can spend an hour at 165 to 180 bpm, that doesn't mean it's a good idea (and I'm not as young as I used to be).

The batteries in the watch and foot pod seem to last well and are easily replaceable. The backlight is 'just enough', and only that, but it does save battery.

If you are a beginner and think this is out of your league, I would consider it anyway depending on the purchase price and the difference between the cheaper model you are considering. It will save you from wanting to upgrade later, and this does all you need without being over the top. The foot pod does add the element of distance run, and stride speed and length, and the usb wireless connectivity is very handy -- these two units would cost you something to buy separately.

Do get yourself a training program, it's part of the expertise value of this Polar product. All your info is easily accessible on the web, so you can see how you're doing in all kinds of ways -- distances, times, efficiency, fitness, calories, approx. fat calories... If you are starting out, take it easy: if you can't keep your heart rate down to a particular zone, either continue anyway if you're just a few beats over, or mix jogging and walking -- you'll soon improve, in two or three months you'll be going quite happily. Not over-doing it can speed your progress.

For a balanced review, I'm trying to think of something to criticize, but nothing really stands out.

DURAGADGET Executive Black And Red Rigid Protective Case With Elastic Belt Loop Exclusively For Canon EOS M
DURAGADGET Executive Black And Red Rigid Protective Case With Elastic Belt Loop Exclusively For Canon EOS M
Price: £19.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Resists scratches, dirt and water, but probably limited protection from hard impact, 14 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a semi-rigid case with soft-ish interior, and it fits the Canon EOS M, with the 18-55 lens on that typically comes with the kit. The zips are good, and there are metal D-clips on each side where you can attach a strap if required, but none comes with it.

As I've read from another site (or Bay!), while it's a good fit this case isn't purpose-made for the EOS M. However, it's a reasonably snug fit inside, and there's a small, Velcro-adjustable partition to one side of the camera, and this partition is a suitable size for a spare battery (an elastic tie would have been handy here). Looking at the picture, you might think there's bags of space behind the camera - behind the flap with slots for SD cards - but it's actually a good snug fit with the camera strap stored there. So the good news is that this isn't a monster of a case, but you won't get the speedlight flash in there. You *can* get a spare battery into one of the slots in the flap behind the camera, but it's pretty tight and right over the screen, so I'd rather not.

Anyway, while by no means rigid (you can flex the material with your finger, particularly over the lens), this case seems to offer some level of protection, is soft inside but not plush, and isn't really bigger than it needs to be. Impact resistance is limited, especially over the lens -- swinging it into a wall or bumping down the stairs yes, because all you need there is a little softening and scuff protection, but it's hard to see how the impact would be much reduced if it landed lens-first from head height.

Some may want a strap, or a wrist starp off one corner -- not difficult to find. The elastic exterior strap on the back is ok for belts, but you won't be able to slide your hand through to carry it this way.

Anyway, short of having a large and very plush case or a totally rigid case with soft/plush interior, this case is a nice size and delivers an acceptable level of protection so long as you don't do acrobatics or put it in your hold luggage (which I'd never do for reasons of theft). The small size is good, I wish the spare battery could be strapped in, and there's no room for the flash. But of all the options and the current price, I do like it.

Mehu-Liisa 11 L Steam Juice Extractor
Mehu-Liisa 11 L Steam Juice Extractor
Price: £108.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mehu (meh-who) -- Finnish for juice, 19 Jan 2014
Mehu is Finnish for juice (Liisa a female name) and this one produces it superbly. Finns do a lot of juicing, especially bilberry (small blueberries but higher in bioflavonoids, also known to Scotts as Blaeberry)from the forest, they know what they are about in that department, and this is one of the best. Water goes in the bottom to boil, fruits and sugar in the top (more sugar for room temp. storage, less for fridge/ground cellar storage, it's not simply a matter of taste). The steam goes up, and berry juice and sugar run down to the mid-section where you draw it off (the first lot of juice from the mid-section should be poured back over the top section to get everything out and nicely mixed). Wash your bottles well, have them ready in the oven at 100 C, which is plenty (sterilization, and so the glass doesn't crack when you put hot liquid in, use oven gloves to handle bottles). There is no need to give the finished bottles a boiling water bath after filling -- the juice that comes out is pasteurized, which is enough, and boiling reduces the vitamin content. 8 mature blackcurrant bushes will easily give you 10 litres of finished cordial (I use around 300 g of sugar per kilo of berries for cold storage), which you dilute to 6 or 7 to one for the finished drink (homemade Ribena) -- that's 60 to 70 litres of finished drink. Also makes a good syrup for e.g. ice cream. Bilberries benefit from the addition of a few strawberries to pep them up in my view. The finished stuff easily lasts a year, probably more, and will certainly carry you from one season to the next. If you don't have any black currant bushes, they need just a couple of metres between each one and really don't take a lot of care. You'll have fruits quite soon, and really something to talk about from three years onward. Anyway, to conclude, this is a tried and tested device which gives good results.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 7, 2014 4:28 PM BST

Philips HR1861 Pro Aluminium Juicer
Philips HR1861 Pro Aluminium Juicer

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reconsider if citrus fruits are your main intended use, 17 Jan 2014
I've had this a number of years, mostly sitting unused. It's as good as any others of this kind I'm sure. Presses are vastly superior but tend to cost more. But here's a realization for you regarding citrus. The other day I bought a job lot of oranges to get some use out of this machine. I had to peel them all by hand. Which took time. And I had to clean this large machine - pulp bucket, mesh, plunger, the transparent top and the inside housing of similar size where the juice flows, plus the container of course.

The result? The container has a foam separator, because you get foam, and it is of course impossible to separate it all, so you get a strange smoothie. And it's strange tasting, like peas my son said, because of all the white pulp mashed into it I suppose in addition to being sprayed through the air. There is a fair bit of liquid left in the pulp. And it's recommended that you don't store the juice because of all the air wacked into it by using centripetal force to send it flying through fine mesh (i.e. it spoils quickly, and in my experience it's spoilt already -- and if you can't store the juice, then you do smaller amounts, and wash the aforementioned parts every time).

Not to waste my oranges, I retrieved a cheap old juicer from a drawer (that's all the storage required, not a whole counter top). I didn't have to do any laborious peeling -- I simply chopped the oranges in half. Then I juiced in the usual old fashioned way (you know, wriggling the orange halves around the pointy bit), and got vastly superior taste and texture -- real orange juice. And it stores longer too. The little hand juicer was a breeze to wash, and went back in the drawer.

hand juicer:
* vastly superior taste and texture of juice
* No need to peel fruit, just chop in half
* The juice stores better, as it hasn't been sprayed through the air
* A fraction of the washing up
* A fraction of the storage space, no lost counter top
* A fraction of the cost and also more eco-friendly

* does non-softies like carrots and apples, but the taste/texture and longevity problems persist

If you want to do hard stuff and a real press is cost prohibitive, the machine will just have to do.
If your primary use is citrus fruits, don't bother, as a £10 hand juicer piddles all over it in every category:
taste, texture, longevity (of juice and device), prep time, juice wastage, cleaning, storage, cost. I've noticed low-star reviews are systematically receiving a single negative vote -- whether this is PR management from the company or from someone who doesn't like to admit to making a bad purchase (like I have -- seduced by the idea that a machine might make things easier and life better when it certainly doesn't) and doesn't know what good orange juice is (try the difference) remains a mystery -- but the logic, argumentation and experience I offer here are irrefutable: a hand juicer is infinitely better on citrus than this machine.

Silverline 456956 Jump Leads Heavy Duty 600A max 3.6m
Silverline 456956 Jump Leads Heavy Duty 600A max 3.6m
Price: £16.84

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good leads deserve to be bought, 16 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Finally a decent set of leads that isn't overpriced. Long yet flexible, with really strong clamps featuring robust springs. I'm recommending them because it's important that manufacturers are rewarded for bothering to produce robust products at a reasonable price, so vote with your wallet. Good stuff.

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